Govt extends Uhuru-era MES contracts for 3 months » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 — The government has extended Managed Equipment Services (MES) contracts for leased healthcare equipment in county hospitals to support the transition to county-owned equipment.

The decision was announced on Monday at the 10th Ordinary Session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit hosted by President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi.

The Summit tasked a joint committee with membership from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Council of Governors (CoG) to develop a road-map for the transition to county-owned medical equipment.

The seven-member committee will execute a systematic strategy that will guide the two levels of government in transition from MES without disruption of services, the Summit announced.

“MoH) jointly with CoG through a select technical committee of seven drawn from both parties, shall develop a strategic road map that shall guide the two levels of government in transition from MES without disruption of services,” a communique signed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Council of Governors Chairperson Anne Waiguru read in part.

The national government offered up to 30 per cent of funding for counties acquiring own health equipment on condition that they meet transparency requirements.

Further, Ruto’s administration committed to guarantee county governments and offer support for collective market negotiations.

2022 extension

MES, launched in May 2015 by former President President Uhuru Kenyatta, entailed a seven-year lease program to provide specialized medical equipment to counties at the cost of Sh63 billion.

CoG endorsed the extension of controversial program in February 2022 for an additional period of three years ahead of the anticipated completion of the initial 7-year contract period.

The Council announced its decision to extend the contracts for all the 47 counties on Friday citing consensus with MoH on the need to review budgetary allocations.

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“In considering the three options, the council acknowledges the impact of the equipment on health service delivery to the people and resolved to extend the contract for additional three years,” then CoG Health Committee Chairperson Anyang’ Nyong’o said.

“It has been recommended the CoG jointly with MoH to draft the addendum to the contracts and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and county governments,” Nyong’o said.

The Sh63 billion project shrouded in secrecy was marred with claims of graft with some counties claiming some of the equipment had broken down even before they were commissioned due to lack of appropriate housing units in county-run hospitals.

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